35% of Android Apps Are Secretly Stealing Your Info (In China)

According to a report submitted on Wednesday by China’s Engrish-heavy “Data Center of China Internet”, or DCCI for those of us trying to sound articulate, just over 1/3 of all the apps downloaded on Android in their country  are ridden with malware designed to collect and package users info for the open market.


“The report looked at each data-tracking function individually and found that, for example, more than half of the apps were tracking user locations, and 13.2 percent were doing so even though user location has no connection whatsoever to the app’s functionality. 21.2 percent of apps will check out your address book, 18.1 percent are reading your call records, nearly 12 percent are reading your text history, and some are even sending texts (14.7 percent) or making calls (14.7 percent) for you. In each of these categories, a significant percentage of the apps are doing these things secretly, even though there’s no reason for them to be doing them at all.”

Across the top 1400 apps, the firm found that 75%  were taking everything down from credit card information, to passwords, to emails and text messages. Anything you put on a phone from the contacts list to where you are, who you’re with, and even what you’re saying; in certain cases they found apps that had the ability to discreetly turn on the microphone even if the screen was locked or phone was “off” with the battery still in it.

Some analysts have begun to speculate this may not be a coincidence, as the Chinese government hasn’t exactly been shy about spying on its citizens, and when all is said and done this is just a more efficient way of getting that task accomplished. With our concerns about the NSA or CIA bugging phones and Apple building backdoors, even if they wanted to only the highest courts in the land would approve evidence collected in this manner in America for the most heinous of crimes.

In China it’s likely the government would have no problem using gathered evidence to have you locked up for treason in about three text messages flat, and that’s just another reason why we’ll never get a chance to see “The Wire: Beijing Edition”.

Source| Tech in Asia


Matthew Weber

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